A beautiful day in the garden can be had here in Georgia. One of the things I love most about living in Georgia is our mild winters. Yes, I know it has been bitter cold some days, which can be unbearable for us cold-natured gardeners. But on those nice sunny warm winter days, I love to walk in the garden. A few shrubs are blooming now in my garden.
One of them is Winter Honeysuckle. Lonicera fragrantissima is covered with small but deliciously fragrant flowers that begin opening anytime from late January to early February. And when I walked outside yesterday afternoon, I found Lonicera fragrantissima in full bloom. This variety of Lonicera is known as Winter Honeysuckle since it blooms reliably every Winter. This old-fashioned shrub is also known as Kiss Me at the Gate.
Although I have received emails telling me Winter Honeysuckle is invasive, we have not found that to be so in our area. I have verified this with my favorite nurseryman. A large shrub will not make more than a couple of seeds, and there are no known areas that have been hugely populated with this lovely shrub.
An old-fashioned shrub you probably won't find in your local garden center, Lonicera fragrantissima is worth grabbing up if you find one. I'm not sure why it is not widely grown, since it is so easy to propagate and grow.
Winter Honeysuckle is somewhat evergreen here in Georgia, depending on the winter. But the best thing is that Winter Honeysuckle blooms in Winter. The small flowers are very fragrant.
Lonicera fragrantissima grows very large, reaching a mature height and width of 6 feet or more. This lovely shrub tolerates a wide variety of conditions: sun, shade, dry, moist, cool, or hot. Winter Honeysuckle should be more widely available.